These two partners are using a photo taken from the Green Gold website as a reference to help them design the tipi burner for the map project.
Student teams in grades 1-4 conducted research first before beginning construction (which is designing the coverings to turn the boxes into buildings). Sources of their research included the Green Gold website, Seneca School's historical mural, the picture file from the USFS, and the students' own history folders.

Here, a 4th grader "builds bricks" on red construction paper for the school. The school he and his partner are building will be the original Seneca School, before its additions.

Here, a team consisting of a 2nd grader and a 4th grader begin construction of the brick and stone for the store building (the business district).

One of the objectives of the History Project was to create a scaled map of Seneca which showed not only the town but also the Oregon & Northwestern Railroad track, buildings, and the Edward Hines Lumber Co. logging spurs (these spurs were not part of the O&NW). As it turns out, this has been one of the more difficult objectives, partly because none of those involved (teachers or students) had undertaken this type of project before, and partly because of lack of funds. Never daunted for long, here is how this objective got underway:

NOTE: You'll find photos down in the story. All photos were taken by Judith Beaudet Reed. Because Judith's photos are so good they deserve to be viewed full-size but because many of us have slow internet connections the images on this page are smaller than full-size. To view an image full size, click the image. You will have to use your browser's BACK button to get back to the page. THESE FILES EXCEED 300KB; largest being 380KB.

Due to time and money shortages, we decided not to pursue the type of model that had seen at the train barn, and chose the cheap way, which we actually like better and think it'll be far more practical and educational in the long run. The five and dime store in John Day had a battery-operated train kit on sale for $10, so we bought 2 of them.

We have just enough track to lay out the main line and the 3 spurs out to Bear Valley, Camp One, and Logan Valley. After studying and color coding their maps, first and second graders figured out the first layout and sent the train on its first run. We need "engineers" at the end of each line and at each junction to stop the train and position it for the next leg of its journey, but at some of these stops it's also unloading logs, or picking up logs, or transferring logs.

Because of the size of the train and track, there's no way it'll ever fit on a table top as we originally planned, so we're laying it out on the classroom floor each time we set it up. This is great because every time we do it, we do it faster, and all the kids have an active part so all of them have a good idea of the layout. One problem, though, is that you get what you pay for.

Our engine must be related to "The Little Engine that Could," except this one CAN'T! It (barely) runs on 2 D batteries, and can't even pull the cars that came in the box with it. When we teamed up with the 3rd and 4th grades, one team turned a passenger car into a log car, but our engine could barely move it. And one of the engines (we bought 2 kits) just quit running, period (that one we're taking back).

Even with these frustrations, the kids are having a blast and learning a lot! After the first and second grade kids had studied the maps and figured out the track layout, we moved to the 3rd and 4th grade room to get them involved. We partnered up the kids and gave each pair a job to do. Once they had built the track, they had to consult their maps to figure out where to put the buildings. (Right now, the buildings are boxes, but starting April 14th the boxes will transform into the buildings they're supposed to represent, as the kids apply their art skills.) After laying everything out the 2nd time, we invited the older students to view our model. The younger students did a great job of explaining what was what to the older students.

Each week that we work on this, the model will "grow" with more features added, so we'll be posting photos of the work in progress. The older students are about to begin detailed maps to scale that will show everything we have rebuilt in our model. This will keep us very busy until the end of school.


These 2 boys transformed a passenger car into a log car.

These 2 girls built the track to Hines and are sending a load of logs to the mill there.

Here we share our model with the 5th and 6th grades.

A first grader points out to Jr. High students the location of the boxcar housing along the logging road.

Two Jr. High students discuss the placement of buildings and where their own houses might be found.

Grades 1-4 share their model with the Jr. High class.
Note: the Kindergarten class has been working on the construction of the highway. They aren't in these photos because they've already gone home for the day.
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IN OTHER NEWS. . . .

Other than walking trips around Seneca again to refresh our memories and add more perspective to our model, we don't have any field trips planned relating to our history project.

Interviews and write-ups are scheduled for the week of May 5, and the students' part of the work should be completed by the end of that week (as planned, anyway).